Restarting our Istrian life

17/01/2012
Baggy & Tally curled up together

After twenty episodes, I’m taking my blog on our expat life in a new direction. Gone is the regular, day-to-day ‘diary’ format and weekly post. Instead, it’ll be a more free-wheeling, ‘as it happens’ affair. But don’t despair, my lone, dedicated reader, I’ll still be covering  those crazy events that make life in Istria...
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Houses, postings and kiwis

18/12/2011
Nicky harvesting kiwis

In the last week before I sign off for our Christmas & New Year break, Autumn suddenly turns decidedly to Winter. We sign the pre-contract on Kaštelir (hooray!); my Autumnal, garden cutback programme drags on; a seemingly stalled Live Istria leaps forward; and we get our first really bumper kiwi harvest.   Monday 12...
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The Treaty, the Bishop, the house and a wood pile

16/12/2011
Phil and his chopped wood pile

This week was a momentous week for Croatia as a whole, Istria in particular … and us too. Croatia finally signed the EU accession treaty on Friday and on Saturday, Istria got a new Bishop. All this happened unnoticed by us, as our house hunting took an unexpected turn. P also finished his wood...
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Two steps backwards and a zip line forwards

06/12/2011
Nicky on zip line at Glavani Park, Istria

While keenly awaiting a building quote, I amuse myself with some high-wire antics. Then find I’ve not been as clever as I thought I was, having to solve the mystery of the ‘missing Updates’ … and go into battle, yet again, with Facebook.   Monday – Tuesday Quiet start to the week, pootling at...
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Have we found our rental house?

01/12/2011
Nicky with barn & house in Kastelir, Istria

This week it seems our property hunt may be reaching its end, or it could equally be just another twist in the trail. I continue the Autumn clean-up and P chops yet more logs – there’s a lot of wood in that pile. Pip joins the Live Istria team, I try to catch up with...
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Getting a taste for Istria’s November festivals

26/11/2011
Chefs hard at work

November’s not a month you would automatically associate with festivals, but here in Istria, the feštas don’t stop just because the tourist season has ended. So long as the sun shines, most weekends you’ll find something happening somewhere in Istria. Pip went along to two festivals near Pula – one in Fažana, the other...
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Picking up the threads again

22/11/2011
Nicky digging the veg patch

Our first week back sees me making the most of beautiful sunshine in the garden and starting up Live Istria again, after a dormant few weeks while we were away. We evict a couple of animal interlopers, plan Christmas and try moving our latest property project forward. In other words, get life back to...
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Homecoming: after a long trip, it’s good to get home

17/11/2011
Home in November

We left Istria on Monday, October 17th. After a 19-day journey involving ten countries, a 3500 km drive, and voyages by plane, ship and coach, we arrived home very satisfied, but exhausted. A weekend sorting ourselves out was in order, before heading back into the fray.   Friday, 4th November  At last we are...
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Short holiday becomes major road trip

15/11/2011
Route on map from Matulini to Hethrow

It’s all very well moving to the boondocks, to live in the sun. But when you want to stretch your wings and see a bit more of the world, being so remote here in Istria often makes travelling rather complicated. On top of that, unless you completely sever ties with your previous existence, the...
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Countdown to a major trip

12/11/2011
Fixed back bumper

Tying up loose ends, arranging cat-sitters, booking hotels, setting up meetings and generally making sure nothing’s forgotten: the week before any big trip is always hectic. I made this one doubly so, with last-minute house-hunting, car chaos and a haircut, all ahead of a three-week jaunt to the UK, New York and Belgium. It...
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Bye-bye Summer, hello to good cat-mother week.

12/10/2011
Baggy in cat box

With bad weather forecast, we put the summer kitchen, pool and garden to bed – always a sad day. I take the cats for their jabs and make new internet friends, the gardeners attack the lawn, P hunts a leak, and we have our first fire of the season – which means Autumn’s finally...
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What else is out there? Let’s find out.

10/10/2011
Fabci house, unrestored

In our our hunt for a rental property in Istria our little side-trip to Pula showed we weren’t cut out to be property developers, so we went back to what we know best – rental houses. The first place we’d seen, in Mugeba, was still a great possibility. But before we finally committed to...
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Konoba Kaštel – a taste of real Istria

07/10/2011
Konoba Kastel

On holiday it’s always great to try something really local. For a slice of real Istrian cooking, try Konoba Kaštel in Žbandaj, just outside Porec. Open all year, it’s one of Istria’s leading konobas and offers a great variety of traditional konoba fare  Produced from fresh, locally-sourced produce, everything on the menu is ‘odlicno’...
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Wild mushroom delights

07/10/2011
Fireplace where the mushrooms get grilled

These are just two off-the-menu dishes available in Konoba Kaštel. I tried to get the exact quantities from owner, Alen, but that just confused him. “There are no exact quantities,” he said. “The quantity we use varies from time to time, depending on the available mushrooms, and your individual taste.” So, I’ve just given...
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Summer runs on and we dash all over the place

06/10/2011
Gardener trimming our hedge with a huge huge trimmer

There’s a lot in this week’s blog – but then it was a hectic week. We ate out four times in five days and made a mad dash to Trieste – twice. Live Istria acquired a (future) new contributor, its first few back-links and its first sponsor! I gave the garden a short back...
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